We have gone through 4 betta in less than a week! I've checked the pH level of the water after conditioning, and made sure it was normal prior to putting the fish in. However, the first one lasted about two days, the following two, about a day, and the one we got yesterday, only a few hours! I have never, ever had problems with them in the past. I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem. We got them from PetSmart; not sure if that has any bearing on it.
I floated their cups to acclimate them. The water was room temp, so about 75 or so and conditioned, and I changed out the water each time. They were very active at first, and even started making the bubble nest. Then when after we fed them, they looked like they were sleeping (moved when tapped), then they just stopped moving. One took a couple pellets, but spit them out right after. Could it be the food? The first that lasted a couple days, was fed with the trial food that came with his tank, when we fed him the other food we bought, is when we noticed the change. We fed them the Aqueon Betta Food. Our 8-year-old used her own money to buy it all, so needless to say, she was completely distraught.
I used really hot water to clean the tank and gravel, and the little fake plant. The one that we bought and died yesterday, was put in a whole new tank and gravel. We have a test strip, one that tests the pH, and nitrates/nitrites, and I can't remember the others, and they all tested in normal range. I tested it after conditioning the water and letting it sit for about an hour. My husband is taking it back to PetSmart today, and getting another betta, as well as a little heater. Hopefully this time he will survive (the fish, not the hubby, ha!), I don't know how our daughter will take to losing another. I also told him to get different food.
Sorry you had so much trouble with your little ones :( I have an 8yr old daughter too who loves our fish so I can imagine how sad she must of been.
Unfortunately they may of gotten a bad batch in, as sometimes new fish just suddenly die for no obvious reasons once they are home.. can happen up to a couple of weeks after getting them.
Another thing to try when acclimating them to the new tank is to do this:
Float their cup in the tank, after about 5 minutes remove part of the water from their cup (can use a turkey baster or slowly pour into a bowl/drain - use the lid to make sure he doesn't jump out), and then replace the same amount of water into the cup from the tank. So say remove 25% of cup water, add in 25% of tank water. Do that every 5-10 minutes a total of 4 times, that should also be a total of 20+ minutes floating.
Then gently pour the betta into a net (over a bowl) and then gently place the betta into the tank. If you don't have a net, pour out as much water as you can until just barely any in there, and then gently pour the betta into the tank. The slight amount of water shouldn't cause any problems.
Doing it that way will help the betta adjust to the temperature, and the water chemistry (including the new pH). Those cups most likely have a high dose of ammonia, among other things that the fish had gotten used to while being in the cup and when placed into new, clean water, the new chemistry/pH can easily cause their system to go into shock which tends to be deadly.
You had cleaned out the tank properly.
Those free samples can be years old, depending upon when the tank was packaged and when they were made. Both of your foods most likely didn't cause the death of any of the fish - many (if not most) new bettas tend to not eat, or not eat a whole lot (up to) the first couple of weeks at their new home. Many bettas have never eaten a pellet, so it's new to them and they have to learn. You can also use your finger nail (I use my thumb nail) to cut a pellet in half, as some of the smaller ones have a harder time biting off pieces of a pellet that may be too big for them. Don't presoak the pellets- once a pellet hits the water they start to immediately lose nutrition, best to just get them used to them as how you want to feed them.
There are some really healthy betta flakes too that you can try.. stay away from freeze dried, but if you wish, once or twice a week would be the most to feed them. Make sure the food has fish or meat meal type as the first ingredient. Some bettas are rather picky, and if it doesn't smell or taste good, they won't eat it. If you come across Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum, those are some really good foods. Also Attison's. Omega does make wonderful betta flake food as well.
If it was a disease that was contagious, you would of most likely seen some ailment of the fish - and they would of perished prior to you purchasing them. As well as it was different times that your fish had passed on, most diseases tend not to act that quickly. I can think of one - but you would of seen physical signs of it such as a fungus growth, etc on the fish. With your cleaning between fish, anything that was contagious would of been removed and again, you would of seen other symptoms.
So either it was a bad batch from the farm, or a shock from lack of acclimation to the chemistry of the water. If it was the chemistry, don't beat yourself up over it - you weren't aware, and a lot of newly purchased pet store bettas tend not to have the best immune system right away, and are pretty weak, as they are kept in colder water, ammonia and lack of proper feedings.
I wish you luck with the next one.. don't give up hope, you'll find a good one.. and if not.. send me a message, I have a few really pretty, healthy boys that could use a good home I can send you if your troubles continue from that store.
I would get a heater, a new betta, and some different food...try the omega one. Acclimate them slowly and make sure the tank is clean...no soap. Be sure you use your conditioner and all your water parameters are in normal range. I know there's been a problem with blue bettas, some mystery disease, maybe get a betta that's not blue. Make sure when you pick out a betta that it's not sgowing any signs of disease. Pick one that seems fairly active and responds to you.
Well get NewLife Spectrum or Omega One pellets first. I recommend Seachem Prime conditioner. Test for ammonia and make sure it is at 0 and keep the tank at a steady 78 degrees. Make sure to use a glass thermometer and not one of those stick on ones, and get an ADJUSTABLE heater!
Next time clean the tank with a water/bleach solution and rinse, rinse, rinse, then let it air dry for a few days.
The mystery disease has been solved if you look at the thread now.
Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-17-2012 at 01:31 PM.